The Caskey Family

Our Favorite Books (Birth to Preschool) and Family Meditations

As I was reviewing my school goals for the children, I thought I’d check on how we were really doing on one goal, “become familiar with at least 30 different children’s stories” (repeated readings assumed).  So. . . here is my list – and it leaves out SO many great books – perhaps I will add to it as the year progresses.  I tried to order them from birth to what Elijah is now enjoying, but all of these are also enjoyed by Merry who is just two years old.

Faces by First Focus Publishing

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

All the I Spy books by by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Dogs Go. . . by Annie Horwood

Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? by Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss

Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

Jamberry by Bruce Degan

One is 1 by Tasha Tudor

Olivia Counts by Ian Falconer

Go Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman

ABC A Child’s First Alphabet Book by Alison Jay

It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw

I Like it When by Mary Murphy

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See? by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson

Harry the Dirty Dog Treasury by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram

You Are All My Favorites by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram

Is Your Mama A Llama? by Deborah Guarino, illustrated by Steven Kellogg

Schnitzel vonKrumm Forget-Me-Not by Lynley Dodd

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd

What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry

Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry

Strawberry Shortcake Treasury by various authors

On a different reading note, our family has struggled to find a good “children’s Bible” that keeps the attention of toddlers and preschoolers once they are moving around.  We long for our children to grow to love the Bible, so are careful to expose them to it heartily and with great joy ourselves, but also with variety and at their level of understanding, in the hope that we do not overwhelm them, or give them so much repetition that they become numb to it.  We read aloud scripture in our home at various times (babies especially LOVE to have the Psalms and other poetry books of the Bible read aloud to them, I have found) and talking about it as we go along with every day life, but are concerned about getting them into the regular habit of meditating on the Bible so that it is second nature to them as they grow up.   Some families call this “family devotions” or “family worship” or “family Bible time” or “family meditation,” whatever the name, we have not found any one thing that seems to sink into their hearts effectively 100% of the time. . .but here are two that we have found engage them and teach the gospel in the stories.  We have read through each of these multiple times  (a little bit each night before bed, working through the book from beginning to end) over the last few years and recommend them for families with children age birth to 4 years old.  Of course, these books are not used in a vacuum – natural discussion and teachable moments should be pounced on by mom and dad!

The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes (1971 or 1975 versions)

The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm and Gail Schoonmaker